Prior to NEW YEARS DAY's performance at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom on November 24, vocalist Ash Costello spoke with Heavy New York. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what to expect from the group's in-progress follow-up to 2015's "Malevolence":
Ash: "It's totally different. 'Malevolence' came out three years ago. Are you the same you were three years ago? I hope I'm not. I feel like I've improved in songwriting; I've improved in singing; I've improved in screaming. Every year that goes by, I learn more about want kind of artist I want to be and what kind of art I want to put out. It's changed quite a bit, so that's why we put out [the EP] 'Diary Of A Creep' to kind of be a little bit of a segue. We wanted to do a lot of what you can expect in the future. We covered everything from PANTERA to NEW ORDER. That's what you can expect. [New single] 'Skeletons' is the first taste – a heavy riff with a very catchy chorus... It's not completely left-field — it's still very NEW YEARS DAY — but it's growing up."
On how the new album will differ lyrically:
Ash: "'Malevolence' was mainly very anti-love, spiteful, really-upset-about-relationships album, because when I did that record, I had just found out that I had been cheated on in a five-year relationship. All that anger came out, especially in the title song. That's not a nice song. Now, I don't have a shitty relationship to use as fuel for lyrics, but my whole outlook has changed. Now there's kind of, like, a light at the end of the tunnel, so a lot of songs are going to reflect that."
On her writing process:
Ash: "My lyrics never determine the music, but I write lyrics a lot without music and then once a song starts to form — whether it's a songwriter bringing me music or the music being written together — then I instantly know what the song wants to say, and I can go through my lyrics and find something that fits the song or start completely fresh with a new idea. It's different every time."
On whether she feels her lyrics are open to interpretation:
Ash: "They used to be, but now, my new motto is what one of my producers said to me — 'Write a song not like a songwriter.' That's what NEW YEARS DAY has always done. It's very metaphorical, and this time, I just wanted to say it. There's no hidden metaphor; there's no veil. It's literally just ripped from my journal, exactly what I'm thinking. Maybe someone could interpret it [differently], but I don't think on this record there's a lot of that."
On life as a professional musician:
Ash: "It's different every day. Every stage show is different; every day in the studio is different. Being a musician, every day is a different experience. It's all over the place for me. Some days, I have, like, this amazing studio session where I can't believe how far I've come. Some days, I hate life and I hate being a musician and I hate writing music because it's not coming out the way I want it. Some shows are amazing, and some shows I walk off stage going, 'Well, I'm drinking, starting now.' It's just different every day."
On how the group's current tour with HALESTORM and IN THIS MOMENT differs from previous tours they've done:
Ash: "They don't like to crowd surf. When I was on tour with CROWN THE EMPIRE and BLESSTHEFALL — who are Warped Tour bands like us, who grew up in a Warped Tour world — we are used to a much more break-your-body-in-the-pit kind of crowd. With HALESTORM and IN THIS MOMENT, it's more coming to see a spectacle, and not so much, 'How violent can I get in a moshpit with my friends?' It's a much different vibe, so I had to really learn how to talk to an audience. I can't rely on crowd surfing to be part of the show, and I can't rely on jumping up on down or me being carried through the crowd. It's much different. Those things, I learned very quickly don't work. I had to adapt. I think it's better now. The control I have on the crowd, I feel, is better. I've learned a lot, especially from watching IN THIS MOMENT and HALESTORM. I've learned so much."
NEW YEARS DAY's new album is slated for release in the spring.